The Boy is becoming more and more curious about letters. He's desperate to know what they are called, he's practising the names and sounds that he's familiar with all the time, he's trying to form the shape of them in the air and finding letters he knows in books. I'm going to start focusing on the key letters and playing bingo games involving them because he just wants to learn!
One of the best ways to learn numbers and letters is through play. And one of the best ways to practise the formation of them is through play as well. The key point to note is that if littlies can't do it on a large scale, they can't do it on a small scale. So if they can't form the shape of letters in the air or a variety of other ways, then they won't be able to do it with a crayon on paper.
So we've been practising our pre-writing skills in a tray of coloured sand, to which I added glitter to make it more sparkly and attractive.
We explored the texture of the sand, making hand and foot prints.
We've been practising our shapes, squares are easy but triangles are tricky!
We drew faces and numbers.
Before we moved onto drawing letters. Initially, I drew the letters in the sand while he watched me. Then he held my hand while I drew them so he could feel the flow of the shape, then I drew them and he drew over the top of my letter. next he progressed onto drawing them himself. The hardest part in all of this was that, because The Boy is left-handed, I had to reverse it and draw it with my left hand myself!
Forming letters in sand in a big tray is one of the activities that is frequently used in my school in both nursery and reception. As I've said before, until they can do it on a large scale, the smaller and more accurate writing doesn't happen. And we should be encouraging them to draw zigzag, wavy, curved and straight lines, as these are the shapes of our alphabet.
Other good materials to do this with are wood shavings or sawdust, shaving foam and that weirdy bath jelly gloop stuff. Anything that holds the shape once a finger has been drawn through it.
I bought my coloured sand from e-Bay.